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Roots won't grow out of net pots - Flood & Drain Method

Discussion in 'Hydroponics / Aeroponics' started by Wiggla, Aug 29, 2009.


    Wiggla Active Member


    I have a flood & drain setup where the reservoir the the plants sit in is not covered in any way, when the solution is pumped up from the lower reservoir you can see it. I don't seem to have too much of an algae problem yet but I am concerned about the plants becoming root bound because it's been almost one month and the plants roots won't grow out of the 5" net pots they're in. The roots approached the edges of the pots rather quickly but won't grow and surround the reservoir like I have seen in so many Flood & Drain systems. I think it's because of the light hitting the roots but not sure since this is my first time practicing this method. One of my plants that was in the exact same container with the other plants just died all of a sudden and I have been wondering why. My main plant is probably 1' tall now and I'm 2 weeks into flower so now I don't want to risk the plant dieing.

    So, should I either get some Styrofoam to cover the roots or maybe clay pellets. While the roots won't grow now, I'm sure if clay pellets were surrounding the net pots, they would. My main question is whether light is what's causing the roots to stay in the pots and not grow out into the big container they're in?


    Roseman Elite Rolling Society

    Roots seek the darkness and not the light. You need to reconsider the entire system. If LIGHT can reach the roots, it will grow algae for sure.

    Wiggla Active Member

    This actually just turned into an emergency. After checking the plants today I noticed my fears have come true. Just like the other plant that died, my main plant's food leaves from the main stem are all drooped. This occurred overnight so I can only think of two things that could cause this, root bound or salt build-up preventing any uptake of nutrients which makes the plant look dehydrated, even though it is drowned in solution every 3 hours.

    So who out there has experience with ebb & flow has had this issue? After one month of growth and completely green and flourishing plant becomes droopy over 1-2 days? PH and PPM are at great levels to promote growth and prevent any burning/deformation.

    Is the light hitting the roots keeping them from growing, which causes problems down the line as the plant grows larger? or Do plants need to be flushed even in hydroponic flood & drain systems (I thought it what the soil that held the salts not the roots)?

    Any help would be great I assume I have 1-2 days until the plants dead.

    Thanks again

    brucetree Active Member

    read the get a harvest every 2 weeks sticky thread. it will explain not to use net pots in an ebb and flow system

    Wiggla Active Member

    I've been checking for awhile on that thread and what I found was light can get to the roots in net pots. I didn't find anything else. Does anyone use net pots? For those that have systems with net pots, are roots exposed to light? I understand the algae thing but does light exposure prevent root growth? I'm kinda trying to find out why the plants are dieing right now.

    Could this be a salt build up issue? Have been feeding 8x over a 24 hour period for one month. Do hydro systems, particularly ebb & flow, build up in salts and need to be cleaned? If so, how is this done?
    blazed for dayz

    blazed for dayz Active Member

    i use mesh bottom pots this is what i was recommended to use by the guys at worms way

    Wiggla Active Member

    Yeah, I'm fairly sure that roots grow just fine out of net pots. I have vids and one shows how you start with small pots for seedlings or cuttings and simply place the small pots into larger net pots, just like rockwool transplants. Here is some new info, the bottom of my net pot has roots protruding out, extending, then heading back into the bottom of the pot. So, there is root growth along the bottom of the pot where the light doesn't get to.

    So, do plants outgrow their capacities? Meaning, my plant wouldn't grow its roots outside of the net pot due to the light exposure, therefore the plant could only grow so large. If the plant was to grow any larger, roots would have to grow. The amount of feedings per day wont change the fact that the roots wont support any further growth, but that wont stop the plant from trying to grow larger. So, if light prevents root growth, it's only a matter of time before the plant dies? I still don't know I'm trying to figure this out.

    chemicalsword Member

    sounds like you are watering too frequently.
    if your roots were seeking water like they should be u should
    have no problems getting them to grow outside of the
    net pot....

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